Our Brilliance-Based Lives

working womenMy nine-year-old went to gymnastics camp last week at a nationally renowned gym. Towards the end of the week, an Olympic gold medalist gave her autograph to each of the campers. Sharing her excitement on the way home in the car, K offered me one of her frequent insights. K said, “When she was signing the autographs, she didn’t look super happy about it. I thought she’d be thrilled because she won at the Olympics!”

What ensued from that observation was a spontaneous discussion of the Myth of Arrival, that imaginary future moment at which you expect to have everything you ever wanted and therefore will be happy all the time. With K, I used the examples of “when you’re finally with the fourth grade teacher you always wanted, or in high school, or in your first job”. Do you have a point like this set in your own mind? Like when you’re working at your dream company, or you have a million dollars in savings, or you find your soulmate?

Nearly half a century on this earth (um, alarming!) has taught me that we never reach the point when every little thing is hunky-dory and we’re happy all the time. We can always find some dissatisfying aspect of our teachers, jobs, relationships, or bank accounts. On the other hand, we can experience happiness repeatedly, starting any time!

Celebration is a necessary step on our path to increased success. We get more of whatever we pay most attention to. Want more good stuff? Celebrate the good stuff you have! No need to wait until someone hangs a gold medal around your neck.

Here’s a slice of what I’m celebrating today. I have an absolutely awesome Super Support Team, all intelligent, creative women committed to their individual and our mutual continuous expansion — not via desserts(!) but via personal learning and professional growth. And they are a beautiful reflection of the connect2 community and the new people I hope to draw into it.

Friday afternoon we had our first-ever connect2 company meeting via video. We used Google Hangout, and five of us were able to attend. I shared my newly expanded vision with the team, and each of them shared how they see working with connect2 will propel them forward toward achieving their personal visions. We witnessed each other smiling and laughing. The alignment felt amazing! I unexpectedly received so much energy from hearing how the work of connect2 has been life changing for them.

In the two business days since our company meeting, our already-solid individual and collective productivity rates seem to have grown exponentially. And in the past few days we’ve welcomed dozens of new community members!

Let’s keep the good energy flowing. Please share in the comments below, whether or not you feel you’ve “arrived”, what are you celebrating today?


  1. Paula G

    I love your post… it could also talk about whether those that have success ought to be more grateful and enthused with their fans (though to this person's credit she at least did sign autographs) — I've written about that myth of arrival and "I'll be happy when…" and even played with a little video from the cockpit of my kayak last weekend. I say all this because what you share is SO true and it has taken me a journey to get to enjoy right here and now.

    Even if we did "arrive", the high achievers among us would be busy looking at the next peak anyway 😉
    My recent post My Declaration About Money (3 Simple But Not Easy Rules to Live By)

    • Debra Woog

      I love how much more play you've been adding to your life, Paula. You have been embodying this understanding – you are SO worth celebrating NOW! Hooray for you!

  2. Linda

    Can I say that I am celebrating another day of facing life on life's terms and working through some real painful issues head on? One day at a time?

    • Debra Woog

      THAT is something to celebrate!

  3. Devra W

    A friend told me today that she thought I had achieved most of my dreams and must be very happy. I was surprised that anyone would view me this way. My response was, "I hope I always have dreams to pursue." It does sound appealing to "arrive", but you are right, on second thought it doesn't sound like a place I'd want to stay at for long…

    • Debra Woog

      Happy Birthday!!!

  4. Dawn Tropea Sarabura

    Reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" and agree with what you said about our expectations and the Myth of Arrival. Also about life being a mixed bag and the necessity of of having a good attitude towards what we have. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate our blessings, so I constantly try to remind myself and be grateful.

    • Debra Woog

      You do a good job of that. I can tell from your FB posts. 🙂

  5. Cara

    I think we really need to treat every minute we have as an arrival. Not every minute will be happy, but if they were all happy, who would even know to value happiness? My sister in law had surgery for colon cancer yesterday. She is 35 and a mother of 3. There is not always time to wait or reach for an arrival. Make every moment count : )

    • Debra Woog

      Oh Cara, what a poignant reminder. And you're so right that the inconsistency itself helps us value the experience. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.